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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Asphalt 5 is an arcade racing game where players are encouraged to drive at ridiculously high speeds and knock competitors off the road. Also, near-miss collisions with oncoming traffic are rewarded with achievements. The game offers plenty of different gameplay choices, ranging from street races to "Cop Chase," where you try to avoid the police. An iPad version -- Asphalt 5 HD -- offers the same game, only customized for the iPad's screen. If kids opt to play multiplayer, they may enter an unmoderated chat room with strangers. They can also upload their photo to their Gameloft profile. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free chatting for pre-teens and suggest that parents use the parental controls built into the idevice.
Is it any good?
The racing elements of Asphalt 5 are hard to argue. The game is a proud arcade racer that lets players flaunt pretty much every traffic law on the books and never have to worry about getting a ticket. There are plenty of cars to choose from, a good selection of hidden paths to shave seconds off of your race time (and get ahead of competitors), teeth-jarring collisions, and it all comes in a great looking game. It tries too hard sometimes, though. The ability to unlock "girls" in career mode is borderline offensive. They might offer racing bonuses, but they're mainly there for their bustlines and tight clothes. And steering can be an initially frustrating affair, whose learning curve could turn off some players.